WSSU king and queen urge alumni to give

During a royal ceremony held last Friday, William Richardson and Benita Johnson-Smith were named Winston-Salem State University Alumni King and Queen.

WSSU king and queen urge alumni to give
October 20
03:30 2016

Photo by Tevin Stinson 



Winston-Salem State University’s Homecoming last week was for more than current Rams. Friday night belonged to the hundreds of alumni who converged in the city to celebrate the legacy of their alma mater.

The highlight of the night was the crowing of the 2016-2017 alumni king and queen.

Hosted by the WSSU National Alumni Association, the competition is designed to raise scholarships. Since the inaugural event in 1945, the candidates who are able raise the most money are named the winners.

Vice president of the national organization, Catherine Hart, said she is proud that the contest has been a signature fundraising event for more than 70 years. Hart noted this year’s contest raised more than $60,000.

In the Grand Ballroom inside the Embassy Suites, William Richardson and Benita Johnson-Smith were crowned this year’s winners.

Richardson said the best part of his campaign was connecting with people he had not seen since he graduated in 1972. He said although it was a lot of work, running for “Mr. Alumni” was an endeavor of love.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Winston-Salem State University.”

Richardson then encouraged other alumni to donate to the university and the alumni scholarship pro-gram.

From the moment she made her grand entrance into the ballroom, the queen, Benita Johnson-Smith, a proud member of the class of 1981, was all smiles.

After accepting her crown, Smith said, the opportunity to serve as queen is like a dream come true. She said although she loved WSSU when she was a student in the late ’70s, today she loves the university more than ever.

“Winston-Salem State University has allowed me to live a successful life,” she continued.

“If we could all become better givers, HBCU’s, this state, and this world would be a better place,” Smith said.

During a separate event at the Embassy Suites, new members were inducted into the Winston-Salem State University Hall of Distinction, which is designed to recognize alumni whose professional and community achievements have brought value to the university.

This year’s inductees were Nina Christian, Gordon Everett and Velma Hicks.

Chancellor Elwood Robinson thanked the national alumni association for their efforts to make sure students stay at WSSU, earn their degrees and go on to change the world.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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